There are several factors that a Missouri court will take into consideration when determining property division for a divorcing couple. First, the court will separate marital property from non-marital property and award all non-marital property to the spouse who owns it. The court will then divide both the marital assets and the marital debts.
Marital property generally includes all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage except property acquired through gift or inheritance. Property which either spouse owned before the marriage remains the separate property of that spouse.
A couple can agree, in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, that certain assets will not be considered marital property. In addition, under Missouri law non-marital property does not become marital property just because it was commingled with marital property. An example of this would be an inheritance that is commingled with marital property, such as a home improvement.
In dividing marital property the court will consider the economic circumstances of each spouse. The court may also consider child custody arrangements in deciding whether the custodial parent will be awarded the home. In addition, the court will consider the contribution of each spouse to the marriage. This includes not only financial contributions but the contributions of a spouse as a homemaker as well. The court may also consider the value of non-marital property each spouse owns as well as the conduct of each spouse during the course of the marriage.
It is important for a divorcing spouse to have an understanding of their rights under Missouri law. If you go into a divorce unprepared, you may find yourself losing out in the property division.
Source: Missouri General Assembly, "Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.330.1," accessed June 7, 2016